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On the backs of two Division I players, Archbishop Molloy last year captured its second consecutive CHSAA Class A intersectional title.
The Stanners’ drive for a third-straight championship continues, thanks to a 3-0 win against St. Peter’s in the quarterfinals Oct. 24 at Maritime College in the Bronx. But this is not the same Molloy team from a year ago.
Replacing standouts Greg Davis (Providence) and Glenn Whelan (Stony Brook) is a squad of blue collar workers devoid of a superstar — especially in the attacking third.
“Our leading scorer may have four goals,” Molloy Coach Andy Kostel said. “It’s the antithesis of last year’s team.”
Never was that so evident than when three unheralded players — Kemet Dugue, Michael Rodriguez and Giuseppe Barone — scored goals for the Stanners, who will take on Fordham Prep in the semifinals at St. John’s University.
Molloy (12-2-2), ranked No. 5 in the city by the New York Post, defeated an injury-ravaged St. Peter’s squad without arguably its best player as senior defender Sebastian Altomarino sat out after receiving 25 stitches to close a gash on his eyebrow suffered during a non-league loss to St. Anthony’s (L.I.). Altomarino has a protective mask, but his status for the semifinal is questionable.
“It’s a team game and one or two people aren’t going to be the whole team,” co-captain Stephen Buckley said. “We need everyone to contribute and they did their job and did it well.”
Dugue got the Stanners rolling in the 13th minute, capitalizing on a St. Peter’s defensive miscue to toe-poke the ball past Eagles goalkeeper John Eberlein.
“It was early in the first half, so I thought it was a good way to start it,” the senior forward said. “I thought the whole team had a really good energy.”
Perhaps no one more embodies Molloy’s under-the-radar success this season than Rodriguez, whose brother Andrew was a standout on the Stanners’ title-winning team two years ago.
“He came in out of shape, he came in not ready to play, barely kept him on the team and he has worked really hard without question,” Kostel said. “The hard work he’s put in has been tremendous and everybody has seen it.”
Rodriguez was rewarded in the 20th minute when he tapped in the Stanners’ second goal. Barone capped the rout of St. Peter’s (5-8-2) one minute into the second half.
“In the middle of the season I really put in that extra effort,” Rodriguez, a junior forward, said. “Coach noticed, he’s giving me the chance and I’m trying to make the most of it.”
The win, though, did come at a cost as Donald Erdey suffered a broken fibula and tibia late in the first half on a tackle by St. Peter’s junior Steve Compitello in the 35th minute. EMS was called and the game was halted for 30 minutes before an ambulance took the Molloy junior to Jacobi Medical Center.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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